B'desh cabinet paves the way for importing 40MW of electricigty from Nepal

Published On: June 13, 2024 09:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Two countries will be signing an agreement at energy secretary-level meeting on June 23-24 in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, June 13: Bangladesh Cabinet meeting on Tuesday approved the proposal for importing 40 MW of electricity from Nepal.

According to Bangladeshi media, the 15th meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) approved the proposal for importing electricity from the Himalayan country. The meeting was held at the Cabinet Division at Bangladesh Secretariat led by Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.

“Following a proposal from the Power Division, the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) would import 40 MW hydroelectricity for five years from Nepal under a tripartite agreement among Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) of India and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB),” the National News Agency of Bangladesh (BSS) quoted Secretary of the Cabinet Division (Coordination and Reform) Md Mahmudul Hossain Khan as saying.  

According to Secretary Khan, Bangladesh will be importing electricity by using the Indian grid. The cost of electricity will be 8.17 Bangladeshi Taka per unit (NRs 9.12 per unit).

The BPDB in 2019 signed a power purchase agreement with the NEA, aiming to import 500 MW of electricity produced by the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project in Nepal. The hydropower project is being developed by India’s GMR Group.

Later in August 2022, Nepal agreed to export 40MW of its electricity to Bangladesh in the initial stage by using the high-voltage Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border power transmission line.

In addition, Bangladesh is also keen to invest in the 683 MW Sunkoshi 3 Hydropower Project. For this purpose, the country has agreed in principle to involve India, making the project a trilateral venture.

As per the preliminary trilateral agreement, Nepal will supply its electricity to the Nepal-India border, which will then be supplied to Bangladesh using 400 kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line and related infrastructure built in India. The wheeling charge and cost of electricity losses will be borne by Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, in its strategic plan, aims to purchase 9,000 MW of electricity from Nepal by 2040.  The South Asian country, which is in pursuit of clean energy, has expressed its interest in investing in some important projects in Nepal as well.

Currently, Nepal’s capacity of electricity production has reached around 3,100 MW. Since June 2, 2022, the country has started selling the surplus monsoon electricity through competition in the day-ahead market of the Indian Energy Exchange Limited (IEX). In the peak production season last year, the NEA exported 175 billion units of electricity worth Rs 15 billion to India. 

Meanwhile, both the countries are holding a bilateral energy secretary-level meeting on June 23-24 in Kathmandu. According to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, the two countries will sign a bilateral agreement for energy trade, which will pave a way for a trilateral agreement including India.   


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